A few days ago, the Chinese government expressed a desire to engage in serious discussions with representatives of the Dalai Lama regarding recent events in Tibet as well as its future. But, the state-controlled press continues to heap scorn on the Buddhist leader’s clique as the cause of violence in Tibet last month. “The Dalai clique has always been masters at games with words and the ideas that they have tossed about truly make the head spin,” blasted the People’s Daily. The leading government newspaper warned, “questions of sovereignty are beyond debate and splitting China is sure to fail.” It heaped praise on ethnic Chnese demonstrators who have defended Tibet policies and attacked the world’s media for insulting their nation. “Those who follow national unity are national heroes and those who split the nation are criminals to history.”
The Dalai Lama has made clear his intent is to establish a relationship with China in which local Tibet customs and traditions are respected. He has avoided seeking independence from China knowing full well going in that direction leads nowhere but to failure. The issue is whether or not the Chinese government is willing to engage in meaningful dialogue or is it simply holding talks in order to deflect pressure on the Olympic Games and its opening ceremonies?